Saturday 10th October and around a dozen EYES members joined Liz for our first ever ZOOM meeting. In fact our first EYES meeting since lockdown in March 2020.
For myself taking part was a new experience I have watched many ‘webinairs’ on Covid during the past months and so felt confident with the actual process of joining the meeting. For this to work we would be at the mercy of good and reliable Internet and I think perhaps a few were nervous about the logisitics of joining in. We had the very capable Sarah S. guiding us through and helping the meeting to run smoothly, a minor hiccup as Liz’s technology wouldn’t behave did not detract from a very enjoyable and informative talk from her.
Liz talked of her personal experiences of the wonderful and intricate Islamic art which embellishes the Mosques she has visited in Saudi Arabia and India. Taking the floral designs and symmetry of the decorations Liz designs individual pieces of Blackwork Embroidery. She divides the type of decoration into three different groupings, Calligraphy, Geometry and Arabesque, the calligraphy being the writings and sacred scripts. Liz uses the combination of the Geometric and Arabesque as the basis for her work.
Liz talked more generally about Blackwork and it’s place in English history telling us that ‘The Wife of Bath’ in Chaucer’s Canterbury tales had a Blackwork collar, whilst in paintings by Holbein Elizabeth 1 can be seen wearing clothing embellished with Blackwork.
A thoroughly enjoyable and interesting talk from Liz, to see more of her work and a direct link to her Blackwork click on the link attached to her name at the top of this blog.
In the likely event that we will be unable to meet at our usual venue for some time we look forward to further ZOOM meetings to bring EYES back to it’s members.
We were given a wonderfully entertaining insight into her life and the interests which influence her textile work.
The wishbone was perhaps her childhood wish to live in the area of Beverley that she now calls home. Philippa, originally from Hornsea, admitted that after some time in Saudi Arabia she finally felt ‘Yorkshire’ again. Perhaps this ‘Yorkshireness’ provided the backbone in the form of Yorkshire Grit which she must possess enabling her to create her highly detailed unique quilts.
This grit must also come into play when, due to her own overenthusiasm her first minature quilt was disqualified, by competition judges, for being too large. She had use 12” instead of 30 cm as the overall measurement. Losing out on a major monetary prize must have taken some grit to swallow.
Philippa’s funny bone came across in the warm and humorous presentation she gave. We look forward to hearing further stories of her quilting life.
Sue reflects on her background as the daughter of a Grimsby fish merchant in a town where fish was king as she was growing up. Using archive photographs Sue has created works which show the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ of her home town. Well dressed children holding large fleshy fish alongside barefooted ragamuffins with skeletal fish.
Sue’s work is largely hand stitched using basic straight stitches which she has developed and adapted over time. The stitching brings to life the faces of the people and the fabrics of the era.We followed her story from her early career to present day with great interest, bringing back memories of fashion and style for many of her listeners.
What links the 1718 patchwork Silk Coverelet, owned by the Quilters Guild, to events of 12th December 2019?
The answer lies in the process of investigation into the quilt’s construction. Using modern forensic techniques the Quilters Guild have uncovered ( sorry!) some of the quilt’s secrets.
Within the intricate quilted blocks lie the original papers used to piece the quilt. These ranged from scraps to pages of religious text and a political poster. The poster advertised a meeting to discuss……Scottish Independence.
Heather gave us an in depth and fascinating talk about the importance of this quilt to the history of quilt making in England. We learned of the difficulty in constructing the quilt with it’s complicated curves. The fabric and the stitching have all been analysed to a high degree. Heather’s talk also gave us an insight into early 18th century society as the Quilters Guild and their researchers worked to discover the provenance of the quilt.
A wonderful interesting journey by way of an everyday object.
Over the weekend of 12th and 13th October our guest speaker, Dawn Cameron-Dick , gave us an entertaining and educational insight into the world of wadding. We were all encouraged to ask more questions about the manufacturers of a material many may have taken for granted. Environmental issues as well as loft, bounce, durability were highlighted in a very amusing and insightful way.
Sunday 13th October and 16 ladies came to the Darby and Joan Hall sewing machines at the ready. Today we were to learn how to make a New York Beauty Block, using the technique of foundation piecing. Again a very entertaining and industrious day with everyone achieving at least two individual pieces.
Our first meeting of the new year and we were treated to a menagerie of needle felted animals created by Fi Oberon.
Fi described how she set her animals in small scenes as part of creating her book on needle felting. She then went on to explain the process of needle felting and the creating of her beautifully detailed creatures highlighting techniques, processes and materials in such a way that even beginners could ‘have a go’.
All artists find that their work leads them in many directions, Fi is passionate about her environment and so uses natural dyeing in her work.
This passion for the environment has led her into a new idea to highlight the effect of global warming ‘Data Wrapped Trees’. Creating an embroidery , of a tree with coloured bands, each band representing data on the effects Carbon Dioxide Emissions on the environment.
Fi wishes to carry this message to Downing Street, anyone interested in hearing her ideas and helping in this campaign can contact her direct.
Anne kept us all enthralled with her vivacity and enthusiasm for her textile art. She spoke of her childhood and a mother who encouraged ‘messy ‘ art. Rebelling against her father’s wish for her to become a chartered accountant Anne went on to study and eventually teach art.
The photograph above shows a sample of Anne’s catalogue and the process by which her art continues to develop. We wonder where the next step will take her.
Precious Memories Jo’s work is a reflection on memories of people we love and how we associate them with what they wear. Their patterns and colours are embedded into our memory and become inseparable from our image of them. Our patterns and colours determine not only our character and how we want to be perceived by others but also define us in a time, place and culture.
Jo’s recent work uses shadow to reflect the image of our patterns and identity and how she can enhance the idea of memory by having a shadow of the image reflected onto a plain background a distance away from the actual work. This enables the shadow to become larger and more defined.